American Parlor Songbook

  • Hosted by JP Houston, Julie Van Dusen

Come into the Parlor for clever songs, charming stories, and hilarious sketches each week. Hosted from the piano by acclaimed composer JP Houston, with his wife, comic actress Julie Van Dusen. JP and Julie are joined by special guests from national music acts to raconteurs and stand-ups. American Parlor Songbook has been recorded in front of live audiences at the Tudor House Theater in Lake Arrowhead CA, and at venues across the country.

JP Houston is a Canadian born singer, songwriter, pianist, and producer. JP has a large catalog of songs composed for record, theater and television, from Funny or Die Presents to the Big Comfy Couch. He has written for BBC, HBO, CBC, PBS and countless others. Houston has been nominated for a Canadian Emmy for best score.

In addition to his composing work, JP is an accomplished performer who has toured andrecorded all over North America and Europe.

Most recently in Brian Bell’s Weezer side project The Relationship. In 2013, he wrapped a 2 year stint leading the house band at the legendary venue, Pappy and Harriet’s in PioneerTown CA. The popular shows saw JP trading songs with the likes of Victoria Williams, Band Of Horses, The Jay Hawks,M.Ward, John Doe, and a host of other notable guests who sat in each week.

Houston has also worked extensively in comedy clubs and theaters as a performer and musical director including shows at UCB, Steve Allen Theatre, and 24th St Theater,to name a few.

Julie Van Dusen is a stage actress hailing from Michigan. She is an alumni of the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy, and a graduate from Oakland University’s theater program. Since earning her degree, Julie has held key rolls in productions including Diary of Ann Frank (Jet Theatre), Psycho Beach Party (Strand Theatre), Twelfth Night (Attic Theatre), and The Fantastics (Henry Ford Theatre). Van Dusen has also worked in comedy and improv, with stints in Detroit productions of Tony and Tina’s Wedding, and improv group Awkward Silence.

Sportsmanlike Misconduct

Apr 3, 2020

Join us for a show about competition, recorded live at The Tudor House Theater in Lake Arrowhead, CA. JP tells a true childhood tale about his grade school Olympics, a bake-off goes off the rails, comedian Matt Knudsen delivers the first ever APS News, and British singer-songwriter Jason Feddy returns to sing the police blotter.

2/28/2020 To Your Health

Feb 28, 2020

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs on healthcare. JP sings about Canada's single payer origins, we drop in on a psychic surgery, Steven Benaquist is back as guru Barry Lorbo, and Nashville songstress Calista Garcia performs her rootsy pop tunes.

2/21/2020 State of the Union

Feb 21, 2020

It's our state of the union address, recorded at The Tudor House Theatre in Lake Arrowhead, CA. JP sings the address, and sings a new anthem. We tune in to another propaganda PSA, actress Martha Young writes a controversial book, John Pate does a run of one liners, and 60s inpired singer-songwriter Josh Cuadra performs.

2/14/2020 - Heart Emoji (Easier Than Words)

Feb 14, 2020

Join us for a show about love from The Tudor House Theater. Sachet Vaneers interviews Cupid himself, JP tells a true tale of young love, comedian John Pate relives the perfect high school date, and singer Josh Cuadra performs his romantic pop.

2/7/2020 - The Bawdy Politic

Feb 7, 2020

We count the votes on a show about politics. Sachet Vaneers interviews Beto O'Rourke, JP tells a true childhood tale about a mock U.N, actor Brendan McCay brings us a mayor's stump speech, and L.A. roots songstress Pi Jacobs performs.

1/31/2020 - What's all this then?

Jan 31, 2020

Join us for sketches, stories and songs on the British Empire and the Commonwealth. JP tells a true childhood tale about an antique scam, we visit a fudge museum, Steven Benaquist pays tribute to Terry Jones, with music from Jason Feddy, Jason Kent and Sunfields, and Lollies.

1/24/2020 - Outsiders

Jan 24, 2020

JP tells a story about the weridest kid in class, we debut a leaked recording of Hillary's FBI interview, Darrin Bradburry brings us his boxcar country tunes, and Phil Proctor and Jamie Alcroft return with their Boomers on a Bench.

1/17/2020 - De Generation

Jan 17, 2020

Join us live as we fire shots across the generational divide. JP sings listener advice, Jamie Alcroft and Phil Proctor are our Boomers on a Bench, Redlands groovesters Coleslaw perform, and songwriter Severin Browne sings a catchy tune.

01/10/2020 - Mystic Mayhem

Jan 10, 2020

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs on mysticism. An NPR host looks to find the value in esoteric learning, JP tells a true childhood tale about a cursed knickknack, Phil Proctor & Jamie Alcroft return as our "Boomers on a Bench", and cosmic american folksters Jet Dread Stone perform their tarot inspired tunes.

1/3/2020 - Nogginscape: Inside The Human Brain

Jan 3, 2020

Join us for a show about the human brain. JP has a childhood meltdown, Steven Benaquist premieres his new science program, and we hear live performances from Louise Goffin, Peter Harper, and Chris Unck.

12/6/19 - The Meta End

Dec 6, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs on sketches, stories, and songs. We go on a self referential bender in the post modern apocalypse. A scientist offers patients their choice of parallel universe, Uncle Werner Herzog (comedian Isaac Kessler) gives a wedding speach, and Michigan singer-songwriter Mallory Wayt performs her pensive piano tunes.

11/29/19 - Families

Nov 29, 2019

JP sings the news about Barbie dolls, and tells a story about a childhood invention. Tony Sam takes us on a family trip, and The Black Tongued Bells sing us some swampy acoustic blues.

11/22/19 - The Fourth Estate

Nov 22, 2019

Join us for an episode about the press, recorded at KVCR television studios in San Bernardino, CA. JP tells a true childhood tale about his father's press pass, comedian John Pate explains the origin of a colloquialism, Julie & JP bring us an alt-right talk show parody, and singer-songwriter Joey Chrisman performs his folky blues.

11/15/19 - Break a Scotish Play

Nov 15, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs about the theatre. An acting coach torments her student, Steven Benaquist returns as the king of crying actors, and Nashville folk singer Tim Easton performs.

11/8/19 - Communication Breakdown

Nov 8, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs on communication. A call center opperator gets confused, retired actress Martha Young tries to redact an email, sketch comic Isaac Kessler is a local business owner attempting an impossible ad read, and Los Angeles duo The HawtThorns perform their rootsy tunes.

11/1/19 - Space Camp

Nov 1, 2019

Join us for a show about space. Alt-right radio crank Aaron White communicates with an interdimensional being, retired actress Martha Young makes a sci-fi comeback, Actor Brendan McCay brings us to the Ted Talk of a disgruntled astronaut, and Michigan songwriter Matt Gabriel sings some thoughtful acoustic pop.

10/25/19 - The New Old Show

Oct 25, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories and songs recorded over the past year at venues around So-Cal. With previously unaired bits from Sachet Vaneers, alt-right conspiracy nut Aaron White, singers Coco Love Alcorn, Jon DeRosa, Joey Chrisman, and more!

10/18/19 - American Parlor Songbook Of The Dead

Oct 18, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs from the dark side. We drop in a horror movie pitch meeting, Emil Konk lectures on fear, retired actress Martha Young provides comentary for one of her classic B-movies, and Joshua Kjerstad of The Clouds performs his haunting folk.

10/11/19 - The Greatest Episode Ever

Oct 11, 2019

We celebrate greatness this week, with an episode from the studio. Canadian singer-songwrite Rueben DeGroot performs his heart felt roots tunes, and comedian Matt Knudsen brings us another edition of The APS News.

10/4/19 Oh Canada

Oct 4, 2019

Join us for an episode from the Studio. It's all things Canuck, on a show about Canada. JP Sings about universal healthcare, and Sachet Vaneers interviews Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Cryptozoologist Emil Konk lectures on northern beasts, and BC singer song-writer Carolyn Mark performs her Canadiana tunes.

9/27/19 - Destiny

Sep 27, 2019

Join us for an episode recorded at The Tudor House Theater in Lake Arrowhead, CA. We'll surrender to fate on an show about Destiny. Songwriter Myshkin performs her quirky folk tunes, JP tells a true tale of bottle top prizes, a psychic uses tech as her conduit, and cryptozoologist Emil Konk lectures on luck.

9/20/19 - Songs Under the Desk

Sep 20, 2019

Join us for an episode on Song. We'll explore lyric and melody with a tune about the pope, and a true tale about a childhood basement band. Comedian Steven Benaquist brings us a one man sketch on an imaginary rock legend. We look for some songs under the desk of that popular public radio music contest, and find some over looked entrants.

9/13/19 - Memory

Sep 13, 2019

Join us for an episode recorded at the Tudor House Theatre in Lake Arrowhead California. We'll scratch our heads and try to recall as much as we can about memory. JP sings listener mail, and tells a story about his mother's forgettfulness. A complex brain surgery solves America's problems, and retired actress Martha Young attends the wrong high school reunion. Songwriter Jason Feddy, and comedian John Pate perform.

9/6/19 - Surveillance

Sep 6, 2019

Join us for a show about surveillance. JP sings about a wiretapped Barbie Doll, we dig up another 20th century propaganda reel, Matt Knudsen returns with another APS News, and Brooklyn indie act The Davenports perform.

8/30/19 - Pop Culture Meltdown

Aug 30, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs about pop culture, featuring new bits and some old favorites. April Hava Shenkman brings us back to the 1940s with her vocal gymnastics, Zach Sherwin raps an anagram, JP tells a childhood tale about fashion, and musical guests Eva and the Vagabond Tales, Black Tongued Bells, and Jordie Lane & Clare Reynolds perform.

8/23/19 - Desert Stars

Aug 23, 2019

JP sings advice, answers listener mail, and tells a true tale of an ineffectual childhood gang. Alt-right conspiracy host Aaron White interviews a desert mole person, singer-songwriter Mark Olson performs his folky tunes, and crytozoologist Emil Konk lectures on monsters.

8/16/19 - Truth

Aug 16, 2019

Join us as we try and decipher alternative facts from reality, on an episode about truth. JP answers listener mail in song, and tells another childhood tail. Our home-shool valedictorian does his commencement speech, and Aussie songwriter Clare Reynolds performs her heart-felt pop tunes.

8/9/19 - Life

Aug 9, 2019

Enter kicking, exit with a kiss, it's life, that's all. JP tells of a childhood awakening, a robot date goes well, Matt Coleman sings his folky pop, and comedian Steven Benaquist performs a piece from his "Letters to Tupac".

8/2/19 - Schrodinger's Episode

Aug 2, 2019

Join us for a show about philosophy. Sachet Vaneers interviews Elon Musk, Jason Feddy sings another item from the police blotter, comedian Matt Knudsen does some stand-up, and musical performances from Canadian singer Carolyn Mark, Jonathan Eller, and acoustic latin fusion group Machin.

7/26/19 - Law & Order

Jul 26, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs about Law and Order. JP tells a true childhood tale about a run-in with the Canadian Police, Sly Chum bring us an outlaw ballad, and Montreal singer-songwriter Jason Bajada performs his melancholy pop tunes.